I love writing. Correction: I hate that I love to write. For years now, off-and-on, I have attempted to write–something, anything that I can explain from start to finish without sputtering out somewhere in-between. And for years, I have failed to do that. For example, earlier this week, I attempted to write a short story about a couple, a man and woman named Jim and Sally who are having troubles with their relationships both private and professional. This is what I was able to squeeze out so far:
“You’re not listening to me.” Said Sally to Jim. “I am listening to you. I’m just doing something else at the same time.” Jim replied as he began shaving the left side of his head. “I can do two things at once, you know.” Sally shrank inside. “Okay, whatever. So this new girl at my job, she’s really been getting on my nerves.” Sally explained. “She acts like she’s my boss or something, but she’s definitely not my boss, but I don’t know how to tell her that without seeming like I give a damn or whatever.” “Uh-huh. What’s this lady’s name?” Jim asked. “Her name is bitch-ass-hater to me, but I guess her real name is Angela or something like that.” Sally said. Jim stopped shaving and turned to look at Sally standing in the doorway of their cramp bathroom. “What? You don’t know her name?” Jim asked. “I said her name is Angela.” “No, you said that you guess her name is Angela. That’s not the same thing.” Sally rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes, okay, her name is Angela, okay? Now can I finish my damn story?” Sally snapped back at Jim. “Sure. Sorry, please continue.” Jim said and returned to shaving his head. “So anyway, Angela comes up to me yesterday and tells me that I need to call all of the assistant store managers to see whose planning on attending the quarterly staff meeting next week.” “Okay, but isn’t that part of your job?” Jim asked. “Yeah, but it’s not her job to tell me to do that.” Sally said. “That bitch is cruising for a bruising.” “HA!” Jim laughed out loud. Sally smiled and began laughing along with Jim. “What?” Sally asked. “What’s so damn funny?” “You!—I don’t think I’ve heard you say “cruising for a bruising before.” “I know, it’s something I heard on TV a few days ago. This seemed like an appropriate use of the phrase.” Sally said. Sally would go on to explain that Angela was recently hired as a manager at her store and that several coworkers had already complained to her about Angela’s perceived abuses of power. Sally being the only other store manager, felt like a sponge for the negative sentiments.
Jim stepped out of his car. The heat of the sun enveloped his entire body. 90 degrees and rising he thought to himself. Time to make the donuts. Jim started towards his office building.
And that’s all I got–half-a-page of dialogue that nobody wants to read and its clunky at that. When I read back what I’ve written I always feel dumb. I feel like, I wish I could kill the thing inside of me that compels me to write. Why do I have this urge to write, if I can’t master or even improve the skill? Its one of the more frustrating aspects of my life and it just won’t go away. I suppose I simply need to more practice, but to be honest, I feel like I’ve been practicing my whole life. I’m tired of practicing writing. I want to do writing. For once in my life, I want to finish something.